BJP slams Congress's 'grand alliance' idea

As hectic activities over government formation continue in Jammu & Kashmir in the backdrop of the fractured mandate in Assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday criticized the Congress’s idea of a grand alliance to keep the saffron party out of power.

After meeting Governor N N Vohra in Jammu on Tuesday, BJP state unit chief and MP Jugal Kishor Sharma told reporters that the idea of a ‘grand alliance’ would tantamount to betrayal of people of the state.

Sharma, who informally discussed the possibility of government formation with the governor in the company of BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, said: “Though I am not aware of the formation of any such alliance, if any such alliance is formed, it would be the betrayal of people of the state as the BJP secured maximum vote share.”

Congress leader and leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad last week suggested a grand alliance between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the National Conference (NC) and Congress to keep the BJP at bay.

Responding to the idea, PDP spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar on Sunday said: “A grand alliance with the PDP, NC and the Congress as partners is also an option to form a stable government and also fulfill the aspirations of all the regions of the state.”

Rejecting the idea, Sharma said: “Talks are on with the other parties on government formation. We are exploring options on who will support the BJP. But let me be clear that it is only the BJP that would provide a stable government in Jammu & Kashmir.”

“Party leaders will meet the governor on January 1 to hand him our proposal. Today's meeting with the governor can be seen a part of the ongoing process of government formation in the state,” he added.

He stood by the saffron party’s demand that the next chief minister will come from its ranks, while also hastening to add that it is the BJP national President Amit Shah who will take a final call on the chief ministerial candidate.

In the five-phase Assembly polls held over November and December, the PDP emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, followed by BJP with 25. The NC secured 15 seats in the 87-member Assembly, Congress 12 and others seven.

Meanwhile, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti left for Jammu to meet the governor, but the party’s chief spokesman said no breakthrough on government formation could be expected from the parley.

“She (Mehbooba) has left for a discussion over the present political scenario with the governor,” he said, adding that talks with all political parties are going on regarding government formation.

“It is an evolving situation and nothing concrete has come yet. The situation continues to remain the same. Not in the near future, the deadlock is expected to end,” he told reporters in Srinagar.

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